Mixed berry Victoria sponge cake

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August 19, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Mixed berry Victoria sponge cake: Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth

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  • 330g plain flour, sifted
  • 320g caster sugar
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 175g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 190ml whole milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract

For the butter cream:

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75ml double cream

For the mixed berry couli:

  • 200g fresh raspberries, blackberries or stoned fresh cherries, halved and hulled. Or 200g frozen mixed berries.
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50ml water

To dress the cake: 

  • 100g fresh summer berries – redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, in any combination work very well.
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted. (Optional).

Grease and line two 23cm cake tins. Or make 24 cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat in the butter until it is incorporated and the mixture appears to be evenly coated and looks like a fine crumble mix, about 2–3 minutes using an electric mixer on medium speed.
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Add the eggs and beat, first on medium, then on high, just until incorporated. Add the milk and vanilla and beat, on medium and then on high, until the mixture is smooth and combined; it will appear a bit lighter in colour, about 2–3 minutes.
Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake tins and level out to the edges.
Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
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To make the vanilla buttercream:

Beat the butter alone for 4–5 minutes on high speed. Add the icing sugar, vanilla and cream and beat on a low speed to bring it together, then turn up and beat on high for another 2–3 minutes.

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Note: You can substitute whole milk for some or all of the cream; just add it slowly, as you may need a bit less.

Note: If it’s hot in the kitchen , refrigerating your buttercream slightly then beating it smooth again will mean you can thicken it up without having to add a load of sugar.

Note: If your buttercream is too thin, thicken it with butter rather than more sugar – it will taste much better. Just make sure the butter is very soft (or melted), otherwise it will break apart into lumps and you’ll have to start again.

To make the couli: 

Place all the ingredients in a medium-sized heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil over a gentle heat, stirring continuously. Reduce to a simmer and heat for 15 mins, or until thickened.

All to cool, then transfer the couli to a liquidiser or use a hand blender to puree. Finally, pass it through a sieve, pushing as much of the pulp as possible and discarding any seeds.

To dress the cake: 

Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the base cake layer, drizzle with couli and add a smattering of fresh fruit.

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Sandwich the cakes together and repeat for the top layer, this time using a little more frosting, a drizzle of couli, the rest of the fruit and finally the toasted almonds, if using.

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